As the NY Jets continue on what feels like a never-ending rebuild process, we as fans can only hope and pray that this time the team gets it right.
After another completely demoralizing defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills by a score of 45-17, it's difficult to find reasons to be optimistic. We can talk about "silver linings" and "a ray of hope" but at the end of the day, a 45-17 beat down is still what it is, a 45-17 beat down.
However, if you watch our beloved Jets very closely, you'll see that there are some diamonds in the rough, and with additional experience, and maybe some more talent around them, they could develop into solid if not spectacular football players.
Enter running back Michael Carter.
Michael Carter is developing into a star for the NY Jets
Though his statistics don't jump out at you at first, it's clear to see that the former University of North Carolina product has all the makings of a star, multi-purpose threat out of the backfield.
This week against Buffalo, Carter once again displayed both his running ability and his skill set as an elusive receiver as well.
For the day, he ran for 39 yards on 16 carries and scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the season. As in previous games, much of that yardage was hard-earned and came after the initial point of contact.
After falling short of what appeared to be a six-yard touchdown run, Carter came right back and plunged into the end zone from a yard out. Even more impressive were his four receptions for 43 yards at an average of 10.8 yards per catch.
Carter ended the day with a total of 82 all-purpose yards. Again, not exactly off-the-chart numbers, but when you take into account that he is just a rookie and surrounded by, at best, marginal talent, you have to be impressed with what the youngster is bringing to the table.
For a team that has missed on so many previous picks in the draft, Carter appears to be a steal as a fourth-round selection and 107th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Besides Carter's obvious physical attributes of both speed and power, just as impressive are the other intangibles that he possesses as well.
Michael Carter's teammates and coaches alike have raved about his maturity level and the fact that he carries himself with the presence of a veteran-type player. Carter is slowly developing into one of the future leaders of this team by not only his gritty style of play but also by his level of intelligence.
For a young team that is still in search of their true identity and starving for leadership, a player and a person of the quality of Michael Carter can prove to be a godsend.
For the season, Carter has now rushed for 367 yards and hauled in 31 passes for another 306 yards. With eight games still to play, if the versatile back stays healthy, Carter has an excellent chance to surpass 1,000 all-purpose yards in his rookie campaign.
This year has always been about development and building for the future. Ask most Jets' fans and they'll tell you that they are just looking for steady progress. With eight games remaining on the schedule, there's still time to right the ship and get this thing moving in the right direction.
With potentially winnable games against teams like the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Miami Dolphins, why not remain optimistic? A late-season surge would do wonders for the morale of the team as well as its fanbase.
Losing 45-17 to a divisional rival absolutely sucks but hey, with young talent like Michael Carter in the backfield there's still reason for hope for the future.
Gang Green may still have many holes to fill on both sides of the ball but it appears they may have found their franchise running back for years to come.
Optimism for Jets fans? Well, it's a start, and make no mistake about it, the "Beast of this Week" has got to be Michael Carter.